Each year, the 9/11 Tribute in Light installation illuminates Lower Manhattan’s skies on the anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
The tribute has become a staple in honoring the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 — and Italian lighting company MaxVH ensures that the lights are just as vibrant year after year.
Matteo Moratti, a MaxVH technician in charge of the project, shared in an interview with Fox News Digital the details of how the display is brought to life.
The MaxVH lighting team, based in Turin, Italy, spends 10 days in New York City to prep for the event.
Each beam of light is made up of 44 five-foot-tall light boxes that measure 3.5 feet in width and length.
Each beam shoots a few miles high into the sky from its base, where the light boxes are positioned into squares — simulating the shape and orientation of the North and South Towers.
The “perceivable power” of each xenon light bulb is eight kilowatts – or 8,000 watts – but the actual consumption of power is “way less” due to special equipment that makes the machines more efficient, the technician said.
The light machines are kept in Manhattan year-round to be “maintained properly,” Moratti said.
The machines used in the current light display were first purchased by the Italian company Spacecannon in 2008 and were custom-made for the 9/11 memorial event.
There were 90 boxes originally created to make up the installation, leaving two spares in case of emergency, Moratti counted.
“We can replace one or two lights that very rarely … need repairing,” he said.
The lights are traditionally turned on before sunset on Sept. 11 and turned off at sunrise the next morning.
Moratti is the son of MaxVH owner and lead technician Massimo Moratti, who began the Tribute in Light project in 2002.
Matteo Moratti, 25, explained how he grew up watching his father pay tribute to those lost on 9/11, which led to the project becoming an experience of “maturity” for him.
“It’s the most gratifying experience for [my father] and he’s very honored to do so,” Matteo Moratti said. “For me, it’s just the same.”
Even though he doesn’t remember the attacks 22 years ago, Matteo Moratti said the experience of growing up with this tribute at the center of his family has been “profound.”
“I was born in this field learning from my father,” he added. “It means so much to me.”
Massimo Moratti previously spent 15 years as lead director of maintenance for Spacecannon, overseeing the installation of lights around the world.
He still works with his global clientele – including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum through MaxVH.
“In this company, we are able to collect all the machines, the instruments that enable us to build the new machines, so we can maintain the models like the one here in New York for a lot of years to come,” said Matteo Moratti.
The son also reported that this year’s event went “smoothly” and brought in “a lot of guests” who gathered to commemorate all those who were lost.
“We’re very proud,” he said.